We are looking at ministry motivations for all who minister but especially for fivefold ministers of the Gospel … And the third motivation we want to look at is that we must understand, as leaders and ministers, that we must have the heart of a servant.
Jesus condemned the self-seeking ambition of the Pharisees who brought attention to their position as leaders. He advocated a different way of thinking entirely by saying, “The greatest among you will be your servant” (Matthew 23:11).
Ministry is not for “getting.” Ministry is for “giving.” If a leader is in the ministry for what it does for him, he is using and abusing ministry. If he is using ministry to fulfill his own needs, it will only be a matter of time until he begins to use the people he is ministering to. And, when a leader begins using authority for his own benefit, it almost always becomes abusive authority.
Serving is giving out of a posture of strength. Jesus served out of an inner strength. He knew who He was, where He was coming from and where He was going. He was totally confident and secure in who He was. A secure minister will serve in any way that is needed because he is secure. Servanthood is not a position, it is a condition and posture of the heart. Leadership is not the brass ring to be grasped, and once you have it you don’t need to serve any more. Serving is the very thing that gives you authority to be a leader. Once you lose your heart to serve, you have given up your right to be in authority.
Our need for security, fulfillment, a sense of accomplishment, success, appreciation, self-value and worth must come from God and our relationship with Him. It cannot come from titles, who we work for, or what we do.
When Jesus washed His disciples’ feet in John 13, He was really saying, “Do you know what I am doing? I am greater than you, but I am willing to serve you.” Jesus wants us to follow His example.
The people God calls and places in leadership do not strive for a leadership position or title. However, once they have that role of authority, they do not back down, but assume the responsibility the Lord places upon them and so fulfill that call on their lives. If a person wants authority, don’t give it to him. If he wants responsibility, give it to him with authority.
God is not looking for people who need authority to feel goos about themselves, rather He is looking for people who feel good about themselves and want to help others in the Name of Jesus.
Godly leadership is not something to be grasped, but once it is given, it is not to be taken lightly. Moses did not strive to lead the children of Israel. In fact, he tried a number of times to get out of it citing numerous excuses to the point where God was upset with him. Many of us have done the same. Many try to convince Jesus that He is asking the wrong thing of the wrong person. Eventually you must learn to accept the things that the Lord is asking you to do, even though they may be stretching you. Then you will find that the pressure of that ministry or task will drive you closer to the Lord. When you are asked to do something that is beyond your natural capabilities or level of expertise, it causes us to pray more, spend more time at the feet of Jesus listening to His instructions. Ministry draws us to the Lord because we realize that without Him, we would have absolutely no ministry.
More on this point tomorrow…